Blog·Performance Reviews

February 3, 2021

One on One Meeting Questions to Ask Your Manager

These one-on-one meeting questions start an honest conversation with your manager about your goals and performance - leaving you ready to improve.

Day to day at work, it’s easy to feel stuck or unclear about our personal goals. Scheduling a one-on-one meeting with your manager can help you get back on track, and improve your motivation.

While they can be nerve-wracking, one-on-ones are crucial for clarifying your manager’s expectations and reflecting on your career goals.

Come prepared with a few of these questions collated below. Before you attend the meeting, ask yourself what your top priorities are, and what you are seeking more broadly in your career.

One on one meetings questions: preparing for the meeting

Questions to ask to invite constructive feedback

One-on-ones are an opportunity for development. Some of the questions below may seem direct, but it’s crucial that you invite managers to be honest about you can improve.

  1. Who are the high performing employees on my team? How can I emulate them to improve my work?
  2. On my performance review you gave me a ‘3’ for Collaboration. Could you give me some examples of where I could have collaborated better with others?
  3. Is there anything I am doing that needs to change?

👉 Click here for 6 examples of constructive feedback in performance reviews

Questions to invite recognition

Your hard work deserves to be recognized! One-on-one meetings are an opportunity to adopt a positive mindset about work. Asking your manager about your strengths will help you leave with a morale boost.

  1. What are my strengths?
  2. In what areas do I perform at my best?
  3. In my performance review, you gave me an ‘Excellent’ rating for presentation skills. Could you elaborate on this?

One on one meeting questions : Performance reviews

Questions to improve communication

Why do we have meetings in the first place? To improve communication. This should be the goal of every one-on-one. The questions below invite an openness to discussion, and clarify which internal communication channels to use.

  1. Do I communicate my plans / projects to you regularly enough?

  2. Is it possible to have more frequent check-ins for this project? My team and I could benefit from your insights.

  3. I work across a few departments. At times, I feel I lack the information I need to do my job effectively. Would it be possible to have more openness about what others are working on?

One on one meeting questions: Check-ins

Questions for setting personal development and career goals

One-on-one meetings should clarify your goals. You may want to ask your manager if they are willing to help you write down some actionable targets for your development.

  1. What works for you when it comes to making and sticking to your goals?

  2. Moving forwards, I would like to improve my communication skills. Do you agree that this is the skillset I need to develop?

  3. I aim to improve my language skills for this job. Are there any language or development programs available to help with this?

One on one meetings questions: Development

Questions for career development

Have you been holding out for a promotion? A pay rise? Now is your chance to soundboard these requests with your manager. If they seem hesitant, ensure they clarify what obstacles are in the way of your progression.

  1. What would it take for you to consider me ready for a promotion?

  2. What barriers are there to my progression – are there any skills I could develop to change this?

  3. Where do you see the team in a year’s time? What do you think my role is in achieving that vision?

Questions for clarifying company-wide goals

Sometimes when we are focused on daily tasks, we can lose the bigger picture. Ask these questions to clarify the company’s OKRs – and your role in them.

  1. What is your priority for the coming months?

  2. What are the biggest challenges facing the company? What will the role of our team be in this?

  3. How can I work in a way that better assists in the company’s objectives and key results?

One on one meeting questions: OKRs

Questions for managers with a coaching management style

Some managers are better than others at the coaching management style. This means you feel comfortable seeking out their advice on issues that go beyond your day to day tasks. This helps you build a rapport that is conducive to your professional growth.

  1. What motivates you when you are working from home?

  2. Are there any books/ other resources that help to motivate you, or that informed your plans for our team?

  3. How have you managed failures on the job in the past?

One-on-one meetings questions to ask you manager - Key Takeaways

One-on-one meetings build trust between you and your manager. They are a chance to receive feedback and clear up any miscommunications.

Your manager should ask you questions too, that invite you to reflect on your progress. Remember, the goal is to develop an honest picture of where you are, so that you can improve.

PeopleGoal have put together some one-on-one meeting templates, which you can find here.

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